Some design guidance and purchasing input for the Control Panel Overlay

23 Mar, 2022

By hqt

Large-scale industrial products, instruments and medical devices have some common characteristics: they all require human operation, otherwise the products and instruments cannot complete the work. So an excellent Control Panel Overlay is very important for this kind of equipment and products. If you need to purchase some Control Panel Overlays or Control Panel Overlay design engineers, etc., you must hope to obtain and design the best Control Panel Overlays. So Niceone-Keypad provides some general design suggestions and purchasing opinions, hoping to help you.

First of all, we understand what is Control Panel Overlay:

The Control Panel Overlay is a graphic overlay on the top layer of the control panel. It is often bonded to a plastic case or a hardware case, and the bottom of the embossing is in contact with the tact switch of the PCB. Functions can be achieved by touching the buttons of the Control Panel Overlay. Control Panel Overlay is generally composed of plastic film and Adhesive. Graphics, logos, text, branding elements, descriptive text, and avoidance of LEDs are also implemented on the back. There are four biggest advantages of Control Panel Overlay:

  • Improve operation efficiency: This is because the Control Panel Overlay screen prints the operation pattern and explanatory text.
  • Improve product life and durability: Because Polyester and Polycarbonate materials effectively resist oil, dust, etc.
  • Improve product aesthetics: Compared with monotonous tact switches and mechanical switches, Control Panel Overlay comes with more patterns and bright colors, which are more popular among users.
  • Contribute to brand promotion: Because the logo can be screen-printed or color-printed on the Control Panel Overlay, it is helpful for brand promotion.

What are the material choices for the Control Panel Overlay?

There are many choices of materials for Control Panel Overlay. The top layer is a film, and the material is usually: polyester, polycarbonate, glass or PMMA (the latter two generally have no embossing).

Polyester is the most commonly used choice. At this time, because Polyester has higher tear resistance, longer bending life than the other three materials, up to 1,000,000 times. Polycarbonate flame resistance and impact resistance will be more excellent, but the life is only 100,000 times.

Glass and PMMA are generally only used as panels, and capacitive lines are generally used. Does not have bending, tearing is poor, but the price is relatively cheap. Can also be used as a gasket.

The Control Panel Overlay generally needs to be attached with Adhesive, which can be glued to the top of the plastic or the top of the case. The best Adhesive options need to be selected based on different attachment materials. LSE is generally the best choice. The most common choice is 3M467 or 3M468. It should be noted that when fitting, pay attention to keeping the top of the plastic and the top of the case clean, otherwise peeling will occur.


Thickness (Common)

Surface Treatment

POLYCARBONATE 0.125-0.35mm Clear Gloss
Clear Gloss, Scratch Resistant
Clear Matte, Scratch Resistant
Velvet Gloss
Velvet Matte
Velvet UV Resistant
ANODIZED ALUMINUM 0.125-3.2mm Black
Pantone Color
BRASS 0.5-0.8mm Brushed Finish
ALUMINUM 0.125-3.2mm Bright
Mill Finish
Silicone Rubber Control Panel Overlay 0.5-3mm Velvet Matte
Adding up PU or Ink
Velvet UV Resistant
POLYESTER 0.125-0.35mm Clear Gloss
Clear Gloss, Scratch Resistant
Clear Matte, Scratch Resistant
Velvet Gloss
Velvet Matte
Velvet UV Resistant
GLASS 1-5mm Anti-glare
Clear Scratch
PMMA 1-5mm Anti-glare
Clear Scratch Resistant
STAINLESS STEEL 0.25 – 0.9mm Brushed Finish

What are the printing methods of Control Panel Overlay?

There are three conventional printing methods: four-color printing (CMYK), silk-screen printing (Pantone (PMS), RAL printing) and printing they are different. CMYK is suitable for gradient colors, with large color errors and low cost for mass production. Screen printing and printing are suitable for solid color printing with less color error. If you don’t know which design to choose for your own products, you can consult Niceone-Keypad. Our professional team will reply within one working day.

In addition to these basic prints, other additional processes are possible:

  • Resin Dome
  • LEDs window printing avoidance and Adhesive avoidance.
  • Deadfront transparency options and windows
  • Embossing or no Embossing
  • Phosphor design

Control Panel Overlay Design Questions and Guidance?

  • What functionality does the Control Panel Overlay need?

Generally, there are functions such as Embossing, punching, or text description. The main options are to make changes through stencils and silkscreens.

  • Control Panel Overlay usage environment?

Antibacterial materials should be given priority for use in medical environments, and UV-resistant materials should be considered for outdoor use. For indoor use, you need to consider anti-glare issues and so on. If you are not sure about the use environment of product materials, you can ask Niceone-Keypad to get the answers and choices you need as soon as possible.

  • Thickness selection of Control Panel Overlay?

The thickness of the Control Panel Overlay is generally 0.18-2mm. If it is too thick, you need to contact Niceone-Keypad. We need to know your specific needs.

  • What material is used behind the Control Panel Overlay?

Choosing LSE Adhesvie is suitable for bonding with plastic or hardware case, and the adhesion will be better than 3M467MP series tape. But the price is relatively high compared to MP. The 3M467MP is also an excellent choice.

  • Coating options?

Whether to consider anti-glare, frosted coating, or glossy window oil coating, etc.

Contact Niceone-Keypad to design your unique Control Panel Overlay, so that your products and industrial equipment can get better product guidance and improve product work efficiency.


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